Friday, December 19, 2014

SONY, PARAMOUNT PICTURES, NORTH KOREA, “THE INTERVIEW” AND “TEAM AMERICA”

So, here it is December 19, 2014, the middle of the second decade of the 21st Century. Cool stuff is supposed to be happening, like we all ride around in personal-pan helio-copters that repel themselves away from the earth and (one hopes) each other, as we flit around and do Important things, wearing our onesies that are made out of a combination of tin-foil and Queen Latifah's weave and that also self-repel dirt. We all wear Johnny Quest's friend's Race Bannon's style of sunglasses indoors and out, because, well, we're cool. This is all of the cool stuff I remember from about 1960, and what I thought the world would become. How'd I do?


I don't remember my vision of the future being this blah, or sepia-toned, but heck, I can't draw this well, so it'll have to do.

Apparently, not very well in the prognosticating department, since we still have jacklegs like Kim Il Jung running rogue Dictatorships AND sticking their noses in OUR cultural bidness, which is even worse in the whole “America is a place where you can say what you want, and depict what you wish in the movies, as satire, with the complete understanding that IT IS SATIRE!” Nope, can't even do that any more and no one, who ACTUALLY matters, (I'm looking at you Mr. Obama*, and you, people who run Sony and Paramount Pictures) are willing to take a stand and say “look here, you little worm! We are going to make fun of you, whether you like it or not! So what if we take your head off with a chainsaw? It's all in good, clean fun, and besides we're showing it in OUR country to OUR people. Take a hike, Kim!”

*As of 2:30 A.M. EDT on 12/20/2014, Huffpo published an article stating that Mr. Obama condemns Sony Pictures' Heads decision to bow down to the request of the Dictator of North Korea. All nice I guess, but shouldn't Mr. Obama have been out AHEAD of this and taking up for the "Freedom of Expression" crowd before now? Just a thought.


No doubt I'm on someone's shit list now; but, when am I not? I'll just hunt me up a chorus of "Team America, F*ck, Yeah!" and march bravely off to. . .  whatever.

(note: That is also a team name of one of our better SETI@home teams and with whom we fight with on a regular basis for 64th or 72nd position; I forget which one.)


1st Lt. Glenn Wallace, U. S. Air Force

Granted, the man LOVED to fly, but he also served in WW II in Okinawa, as did both of my mom's brothers, my uncles, Stan and Nile. They were in the Navy in the South Pacific.

But, that didn't happen. I realize I've just jumped right here in the middle, with no explanation, not mention aforethought and no context, but this is really just unbelievable to me. I can just hear my father, who lived through all the shit of the Joseph P. McCarthy era, - with Stalin laughing, saying, “I don't have to do anything to weaken America, she does it to herself!" - in the early 50s, after he left the Air Force and I can remember him talking in hushed tones about professors of his who did lose their positions because people were afraid, and people talked, and cast aspersions, even if they weren't true. Some people took their lives. Were my dad alive today, he would say what I thought when I was reading the article; a quote by Joseph Welch that was televised, when Senator McCarthy began to insinuate a witness was a long, long-ago member of the American Communist Party, “Have you no shame? Have you no decency?”


B-29 Wing, over Korea, circa 1951

Have we no shame nor decency, that we can let the freedoms that were won so hard for us over the centuries and the decades go so easily? Are we really that willing to just brush it off? Or, are we that knavish and craven that we believe the North Koreans and the anonymous hackers are capable of 9/11-era attacks BECAUSE OF the showing of something like the previews for “The Interview” or a midnight showing of “Team America: World Police”, a movie that has been out for TEN years?


At least George Clooney had the gumption to stand up and attempt to do the right thing. He tried to get other actors and people of note to sign a petition backing the Sony Pictures, but was unsuccessful in his attempt. The media did little as per usual; their modus operandi of late has been to run around with their hair on fire making everything seem far worse than it is, and they do little to bring calm, reason, parity and a fair perspective to anything I've watched in many a year.

As far as I am concerned, we should NEVER bow down to dictators, never negotiate with terrorists. Once we start down that road, it is simply too easy to get us to give in on bigger things. It is the “slippery slope” that lawyers and lawmakers and diplomats worry about. Were it up to me? I'd be showing that bastard “Team America: World Police” for free in EVERY THEATER in the country! It's just a movie for crying out loud! (You can watch the damn thing on NETFLIX, which I intend on doing for the next week!)
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